205 Census Collectors hit the streets of Lake Macquarie

29 July 2011 | NSW/59

205 Census Collectors will hit the streets of Lake Macquarie today to deliver Census forms to every home, farm and caravan in the region and ensure every person is accurately counted on Census night, 9 August.

Veteran of nine Censuses, 72 year-old Richard Parry is again taking to the streets as a Census Collector, this time in Swansea.

“I’ve delivered and collected Census forms in Sydney neighbourhoods as different as Kings Cross and Eastwood, Balmain and Frenchs Forest.

"This time I will be collecting in Swansea, working from a home my father bought in 1966 and where I retired to in January this year with my wife.

“Back in ’66 when my father moved to Swansea there was no kerb, guttering or sewerage. Swansea was just a sleepy little village where the Lake flows into the sea. Still is really," Richard says.

When Richard first started working on the Census in 1966 it was organised by the Australian Electoral Commission and the processing of forms was done manually.

“The technical changes have been amazing. These days the Census form goes through computer recognition. Instead of a tick or a cross we put lines in boxes because lines are easier for the computer to read."

Richard is looking forward to retirement in Swansea but hasn’t ruled out participating in a tenth Census in 2016.

“We’ll see how I’m feeling in 2016. If it’s a nice sunny day it can be a wonderful job, out and about in the fresh air meeting nice people.”

This year’s Census will be the second time people can complete the Census online and it’s expected up-to thirty per cent of households will choose this method.

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census or by calling the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 338 776